Legislature(1995 - 1996)
04/10/1995 01:40 PM TRA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 287 - OUTDOOR ADVERTISING Number 012 REPRESENTATIVE NORMAN ROKEBERG, prime sponsor of HB 287, presented the committee with a color photograph depicting the actual configuration of the suggested trash receptacle. He said Mr. Race Jones will give testimony on this concept. He explained HB 287 passed both Houses last year but was vetoed by the Governor. HB 287 is a positive small business economic development bill that allows for the beautification and cleanup of areas. He indicated the bill package contained a letter from the previous Commissioner of the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT/PF) indicating because both Alaska Statute 19.25.110 and Alaska Administrative Code 20.010 only allow advertising on bus benches and bus shelters, the department does not have the authority to approve this request. Representative Rokeberg indicated there were other supporting letters from Assembly members from the municipality of Anchorage and Mayor Mystrom supporting this concept which already exists in Anchorage. He indicated HB 287 has a zero fiscal note, or, may even have a positive one if the Department of Transportation adopts a permitting fee, which is also in place in Anchorage. He asked for the Committee's support and said he was available for questions. Number 067 CHAIRMAN DAVIS announced Mr. Race Jones, who is scheduled to testify via teleconference from Anchorage. RACE JONES, President of CanAd, a company he formulated back in 1990, designed the trash receptacles to enhance the beautification of the city of Anchorage as well as for the benefit of other areas. He stated this was for other companies to benefit from and not just his. He explained the receptacles have a 40 to 50 gallon capacity and are fabricated locally. He fabricated, installed and maintained the receptacles. Mr. Jones said the receptacles are maintained through cooperation with the business communities. A business sponsors a particular receptacle and for their sponsorship they receive four 18" by 18" signs for all sides of the receptacle. He explained his company or others would be responsible for maintaining the integrity of their own receptacle. He noted it cost the city of Anchorage approximately $30,000 a year to maintain their litter pick-up in the downtown business district. Once his program is up to speed it would save the municipality approximately $30,000 which could be allotted to other areas. He stated over a ten year period this could save the city quit a bit of money. MR. JONES also indicated other benefits to the state which are better control of litter on the streets as well as to improve roadside areas, and possibly reducing maintenance on some of the street cleaning machinery through less litter the machine has to process. He stated he intends to promote this program by placing these receptacles on public right-of-ways. Mr. Jones intended to conduct a public education program through the media regarding the use and importance of these receptacles. He communicated with Mr. John Horn, Regional Director for the Central Region of the DOT/PF, throughout the process. Mr. Horn also suggested the possibility of an amendment from the DOT/PF for allowing the city to enact permits on the particular state right-of-ways if HB 287 was enacted. MR. JONES suggested this program would benefit rural Alaska as far as employment and stimulate more small businesses. He stated he did not intend to operate this program solely on his own. He explained that being an entrepreneur, he was interested in a percentage of the market but his interest as a Native Alaskan was to benefit Alaskans and the state. Number 184 REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked why Mr. Jones had the word "adjacent" trash receptacle added. MR. JONES explained "adjacent" trash receptacles would include areas near bus shelters and benches. He suggested amending the word "adjacent" due to the fact this was somewhat restricting to the purpose of these trash receptacles. This would allow the DOT/PF to regulate the permit issuance upon the applications, so if they felt that the receptacles would not hinder handicap access areas and not hindering sight of vision as far as traffic, then they would accept the permit so it is not restricted to bus stops and bus shelters. He noted the importance of placing these receptacles in high traffic areas. In order for the program to be effective, these trash receptacles need to be around intersections, foot paths, bicycle paths and other accessible areas. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG asked if the word "adjacent" was deleted, would this provide a greater ability to use these receptacles on state right-of-ways. MR. JONES said yes, and referred to an article where the new Commissioner of the DOT/PF stated that with the decrease in state revenues, it becomes more imperative to find ways to deal with private enterprises, and this would be one of those innovative ways. He reiterated his support for the removal of the word "adjacent" which would be left to the Commissioner of the DOT/PF in that particular area to decide whether or not the permit would be applicable. Number 214 CHAIRMAN DAVIS expressed concern for eliminating the word "adjacent" and being able to place any container alongside the road and calling it a trash receptacle. He explained there should be some adjustment to the wording of "adjacent" and suggested the wording "and those acceptable trash receptacles." He stated HB 287 "was a relatively simple bill and has only the House Transportation Committee as a referral. If the committee keeps this in mind, it would be his wish to keep that concern in mind when and if the bill gets to the floor since it would be a minor amendment. REPRESENTATIVE TOM BRICE expressed concern for waiting until HB 287 is heard on the floor to amend it. MR. JONES interjected that he agreed with the wording "trash receptacle." He explained one of the reasons he wanted to elaborate on this concept was the design in itself is part of the integrity. He noted he did not want just any 55-gallon drum placed along the roadsides of Alaska. He stated "presentation is 75 percent of your sale." He agreed there has to be some sort of control regarding the design and placement of the receptacles. CHAIRMAN DAVIS stated it was his impression that HB 287 is drafted specifically to accommodate the cities of Anchorage and Fairbanks. There are other areas that do not have bus shelters or benches that these receptacles would be required to be adjacent to, as indicated in this bill. With the removal of the word "adjacent" and some additional language, this would allow other areas of the state to incorporate this project. Number 267 REPRESENTATIVE BRICE expressed concern for the criteria already established regarding bus benches and shelters, and the building standards they are required to conform to before they are erected. He asked about a similar process of standards with the application of the trash receptacles. CHAIRMAN DAVIS stated he shared Representative Brice's concern with reference to waiting until this is heard on the floor, and he will do some further research on this and possibly draft some proposed amendments. REPRESENTATIVE JERRY SANDERS expressed concern for the type of advertisements that could be displayed on these trash receptacles and the rules that govern what can and can't be advertised. REPRESENTATIVE ROKEBERG stated it was his understanding that the ordinances of the prevailing municipality regarding the material for public display would be in order, contrary to any other state regulations or law. Therefore, the local municipality could address their first amendment rights with respect to that specific area, such as what is in practice in the municipality of Anchorage. CHAIRMAN DAVIS indicated this would be a state law and the DOT/PF guidelines would also apply within the state right-of-way areas outside the organized municipalities. MR. JONES said the restrictions on the receptacles would be under the municipal codes that would effectively have control over the signs. He referenced what is currently being displayed on the bus shelters and said the ordinance was not amended through the municipality of Anchorage last week in regard to the political advertising on the local municipal buses, but it does state the applicability of municipal enactments...they may enact ordinances that regulate outdoor advertising in a way that is more restrictive than the provisions of the state. He indicated he had spoken to the Mayor's office and the Public Works Department regarding this. He explained the Public Works Department has the ability to pull his permit from a given area if the advertising is offensive or if the receptacle endangers the public in any way. He explained it would be "suicide" for his business to advertise in any way that would be offensive to the public. CHAIRMAN DAVIS asked for further discussion. Then asked what the will of the Committee was. REPRESENTATIVE BEVERLY MASEK made a motion to move HB 287 out of the House Transportation Committee with individual recommendations and a zero fiscal note. Number 357 CHAIRMAN DAVIS asked if there was any objection. Hearing none, HB 287 is moved out of the committee.